In newer versions of D&D and Pathfinder they each have a skill list. Contrary to popular belief this is not a new idea. Skills go all the way back to the original D&D in the form of Thief skills. I propose that skills are integrated into Simple DnD in a more uniform manner. Skill based characters (Assassin, Grifter, Ranger and Thief) would be completely replaced with the new class, just called Rogue, and allowing the players to customize their characters as they see fit.
Each rogue would choose 6 of the following skills and distribute 24 points between them:
Crafting: Disguise, Poison, Tinker, Traps (choose) one slot per
Sleight of Hand
Use Magic Devices
At each level up the player would gain 3 additional points to distribute. New skills can be acquired at the cost of 6 skill points and would start at 1. With one additional skill added at each 5 levels.
Class Build Outs
A thief would know: Climbing, Crafting: Traps, Disable Devices, Investigate, Stealth and Use Magic Devices
An assassin would know: Climbing, Contacts, Crafting: Poison, Intimidate, Tracking and Stealth
A grifter would know: Contacts, Deceive, Intimidate, Lore, Stealth and Will Power
A ranger would know: Animal Handling, Climbing, Investigate, Lore, Stealth and Tracking
Let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!
Monks are people who have dedicated their lives to serving the universe. They follow a strict oath of self improvement, seclusion and austerity. A monk must be true to their oath and strive to repay all debts. They live in monasteries with like minded individuals and adventure to gain spiritual growth and to expand the knowledge of the monastery of the outside worlds.
Ability Requirements: The monk must have at least +2 in both Strength and Dexterity.
Ability Focus: Strength
Hit Dice: d6
Natural Armor: The Monk gains +1 to their AC for each level of advancement. Wearing armor negates this bonus.
Active Defense: In place of one of their next attacks, a monk can use active defense rolling d20 + their Dex vs the attack roll (with modifiers). A successful roll means the monk moves out of the way of the attack.
Martial Artist: A monk goes 1d4 damage every 3 levels when using an unarmed attack.
Multiple Attacks: At every 3rd level the monk gains one additional unarmed attack.
Armor restrictions: Monks can never wear armor of any type, nor can they ever use protective magical devices (such as rings, cloaks, etc.); they rely on their discipline for protection. Wearing armor negates any natural armor or multi-attack bonuses.
Weapon restrictions: Monks can use any weapons, however they lose all bonuses to attack, damage and multiple-attacks when they do.
Oath Bond: If the monk breaks an oath or is expelled from their monastery for any reason they will not gain any new levels of experience until their honor or membership in the monastery is restored.
Oath of Cleanliness – A monk undertaking this vow must wash daily as well as change into fresh clothes in the event the robes become dirty. The vow forbids willingly touching the filthy, diseased, dead, or undead, though using weapons to attack these creatures is allowed.
Oath of Fasting – A monk eats nothing but rice (or a similar bland, staple food) and drinks nothing but water. The monk cannot use tobacco, drugs, potions, alchemical items requiring eating or drinking, or any other thing that could be considered a food or beverage.
Oath of Peace – A monk will always strive to incapacitate an opponent rather than kill and will always encourage others to do the same.
Oath of Poverty – A monk strives to overcome materialism and will forgo treasure and other material worth. 10% of all treasure should be sent to their monastery and the remainder will be deducted from the monk’s experience unless the monk donates the treasure to those in need.
Oath of Truth – A monk will always tell the truth when asked directly and will always encourage others to do the same.
Monks gain the following special abilities as they progress in experience levels:
3rd Level: Controlled Strike
5th Level: Awareness
7th Level: Self Healing
9th Level: Resistant
11th Level: Fortitude
13th Level: Disappear
15th Level: Touch of Death
Explanations of Monk Abilities
Controlled Strike: The monk can control the power of the strike to reduce damage and render a target unconscious rather than killing.
Awareness: +1 to checking if surprised for every 3 levels
Self Healing: Once per day, the monk my heal himself of 1 point of damage for each experience level.
Resistant: Half damage (round down) from all spells, gas or breath weapons.
Fortitude: The monk is immune to charm, command, sleep and hold spells.
Disappear: Once per day the monk can disappear and become completely undetectable for 1 round per level of experience.
Touch of Death: Once per day the monk can cause death upon a successful attack to any creature of lower hit dice than the monk.
Backpack, a bedroll, a belt pouch, a flint and steel, an iron pot, a mess kit, rope, torches (10), trail rations (5 days), and a water skin.
Druids share a belief in the fundamentally spiritual nature of life and avoid choosing any one conception of Deity, believing that by its very nature this is unknowable by the mind. All Druids sense Nature as divine or sacred. Every part of nature is sensed as part of the great web of life, with no one creature or aspect of it having supremacy over any other. In doing this they pull their magical powers from the very living world around them.
Ability Focus: Wisdom
Hit Points: d6
Restrictions: Druids cannot use any metal weapon or armor
Special: At 4th level Druids can shape shift into the form of an animal once per day. Druid players should pick one animal and that will always be their form. This shifted animal will be roughly the size of the character even if the animal is tiny.
Special: Druids CANNOT read magic. Their power comes from their close connection to the earth.
Special: Druids can Turn or Befriend Animals
Turn or Befriend Animals
Much like a cleric, the Druid can repel or befriend animals. When an animal is encountered, the character should roll at d20 and all their Wisdom (and focus) vs a DC of 16 plus the number animals Hit Dice. If the result is equal or greater the animals are turned away or calmed. Magical animals (like owlbears, griffins, etc) add +2 to the DC of the roll. If the roll exceeds the required DC by 5 the animal can be befriended. Calmed animals will not interact with the druid and will calmly move away from the party. Befriended animals on the other hand will follow the druid, guarding and assisting within its capabilities so long as the druid remains in the general vicinity of its normal lair or range.
Zero level spells
Create Water – Creates 2 gallons/level of pure water.
Detect Poison – Detects poison in one creature or object.
Know Direction – You discern north.
Spark – Ignites flammable objects.
1st level spells
Detect Animals or Plants
Hide from Animals
Pass without Trace
Speak with Animals
2nd level spells
Soften Earth and Stone
3rd level spells
Meld into Stone
Speak with Plants
Vermin Shape I
4th level spells
Cape of Wasps
Grove of Respite
Touch of Slime
One of the most odd parts of D&D is the Vancian magic system. You have to memorize spells, then, once you use the spell, it is erased from your memory. Why? When you tell a story it isn’t wiped from your memory! So I propose a change to the SimpleDnD Magic system.
Magic Points – Mana
Each day a magic user character has a magic threshold. We’ll call these mana. Spellcasters gain mana by adding their level plus their ability modifier, Intelligence for Wizards or Wisdom for Clerics.
Spells are already grouped by level, so instead we’ll use the level as the mana cost. So to cast a 2nd level spell would require deducting 2 mana from a character’s mana pool. The spell is NEVER removed from the spell casters memory, and the same spell could be used over and over as long as their is mana in the character’s mana pool.
To recover mana a character must rest. Assuming that a full 10 hours of rest can recover 100% of a character’s mana, then for each hour of rest a character would recover 10% of their total mana.
No spell caster could cast a spell for a cost higher than their level.
The spell caster cannot take any other action in a round when casting a spell.
A spell caster who cannot speak or is bound can not cast a spell.
If the spell caster takes damage before their turn in combat, the spell is interrupted and lost.
The spell caster must be able to see the target the spell is to be cast on.
Spells are just like using a skill. The spell caster must roll d20 plus their modifier (WIS/INT + Level) vs a DC 10 + spell cost/level. If they do not meet or exceed the required number the mana is used, and the spell fails.
Wizards cannot cast spell in which they do not have the formula. This means that they must have the spell, on a scroll or have the spell book and in hand, at the time of casting. If they lost the scroll or the spell book, they lose the intricate knowledge and cannot use the spells any more.
Clerics on the other hand have a limited number of spells provided by their gods. Unlike a spell book, their magic is divine and cannot destroyed, but it can be taken from the character if the character does something against their god’s (DM) wishes. In addition, the cleric must have their holy symbol in one hand to cast their spells.
OPTIONAL: It is recommended that the DM limit the spell choices clerics can choose from. The DM has the final say in spell picking for a cleric, and is the limit of choosing a god driven character.
Potion of Mana
Like a potion of healing, the potion of mana can restore 1d8 mana to a spell caster. Mana can never exceed the maximum value available. These potions are expensive, rare and coveted by magic users. Typical costs are 800gp and up.
A spell caster can choose to use their hit points in the event that they run out of mana. Only after a caster’s mana pool has reached zero may they use their health. 1 hit point = 1 mana. Damage taken to a character this way heals like normal.
What are you thoughts on spell casting systems? Is there a system you love and you think would be better? Post a comment below!
With over 500 downloads, there was some excellent feedback on the PDF. First this new PDF is searchable, indexed and print ready. Second, the two column layout has been removed for a more tablet friendly layout. Finally, the rules have been expanded. Skills for rogue classes have been simplified and some typos fixed. Overall this should be a better companion book for new players.
Please note that this PDF may not be the latest and greatest version of the rules as this blog will always be the most current and complete version of the game. So make sure to follow the blog. 😉 😉 Also don’t forget to like, share and comment below!
If you’d like to translate the book, post a comment below.
In an effort to differentiate the classes and to add new ones, the magic user classes will have limit spells vs the whole spell list. Here is the spell list for the cleric class.
Cure Minor Wounds (reversible)
Purify Food and Drink
Create Water (Reversible)
Cure Light Wounds (Reversible)
Detect Evil (Reversible)
Protection from Evil (Reversible)
Purify Food and Drink (Reversible)
Remove Fear (Reversible)
Know Alignment (Reversible)
Silence (15 ft radius)
Speak with Animals
Continual Light (Reversible)
Create Food and Water
Cure Blindness (Reversible)
Cure Disease (Reversible)
Gust of Wind
Protection from Evil (10 ft radius) (Reversible)
Remove Curse (Reversible)
Speak with Dead
Water Breathing (Reversible)
Cure Serious Wounds (Reversible)
Detect Lie (Reversible)
Lower Water (Reversible)
Neutralize Poison (Reversible)
Protection from Evil (10 ft radius) (Reversible)
Speak with Plants
Sticks to Snakes (Reversible)